Realtors and tech spending big to flip the Board of Supervisors

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District 1 candidate David Lee is benefitting from unprecedented spending by wealthy interests.

Wealthy interests aligned with Mayor Ed Lee, the real estate industry, big tech companies, and other downtown groups are spending unprecedented sums of money in this election trying to flip the balance of power on the Board of Supervisors, with most of it going to support supervisorial candidates David Lee in D1 and, to a lesser degree, London Breed in D5.

The latest campaign finance statements, which were due yesterday, show Lee benefiting from more than $250,000 in “independent expenditures” from just two groups: the Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth PAC, which got its biggest support from tech titans Mark Benioff and Ron Conway; and the Coalition for Responsible Growth, funded by the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

Lee's campaign has also directly spent another nearly $250,000 on its race to unseat incumbent Sup. Eric Mar – bringing total expenditures on his behalf to more than $500,000, an unheard-of amount for a district election. Mar has spent $136,000 and has $24,100 in the bank, and he is benefiting from another $125,000 that San Francisco Labor Council unions have raised on his behalf.

Breed has benefited from more than $40,000 in spending on her behalf by the two groups. Her campaign is also leading the fundraising field in her district, spending about $150,000 so far and sitting on more than $93,000 in the bank for a strong final push.

Incumbent D5 Sup. Christina Olague has done well in fundraising, but the reports seem to indicate that her campaign hasn't managed its resources well and could be in trouble in the final leg. She has just $13,369 in the bank and nearly $70,000 in unpaid campaign debts, mostly to her controversial consultant Enrique Pearce's firm.

Slow-and-steady D5 candidates John Rizzo and Thea Selby seem to have enough in the bank ($20,000 and $33,000 respectively) for a decent final push, while Selby also got a $10,000 boost from the the Alliance, which could be a mixed blessing in that progressive district. Julian Davis still has more than $18,000 in the bank, defying the progressive groups and politicians who have pulled their endorsements and pledging to finish strong.

In District 7, both FX Crowley and Michael Garcia have posted huge fundraising numbers, each spending around $22,000 this year, but Crowley has the fiscal edge going into the final stretch with $84,443 in the bank compared to Garcia's less than $34,000. But progressive favorite Norman Yee is right in the thick of the race as well, spending $130,000 this year and having more than $63,000 in the bank.

The following is a detailed look at the numbers (we didn't do Districts 3, 9, and 11, where the incumbents aren't facing serious or well-funded challenges) for the biggest races:

 

Independent Expenditures

 

Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth PAC

The downtown-oriented group is run by notorious campaign attorney Jim Sutton. It has raised $447,500 this year, including $225,000 in this reporting period (Oct. 1 to Oct. 20).

It has spent $107,808 this period and $342,248 this reporting period. It has $243,599 in the bank and $105,334 in outstanding debt.

Donors include: Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff ($100,000), venture capitalist Ron Conway ($35,000), San Francisco Police Officers Association ($25,000), Healthplus Share Services out of Walnut Creek ($20,000), Committee on Jobs ($47,500), and Operating Engineers Local 3 ($10,000)

The Alliance has spent $143,763 this year, including $16,921 in this reporting period, supporting D1 supervisorial candidate David Lee and attacking his opponent Eric Mar; and $10,205 each in support of D5 candidates Thea Selby and London Breed.

 

Coalition for Sensible Growth (with major funding by the SF Association of Realtors)

Raised nothing this reporting period but $225,000 this year.

Spent $75,636 this period and $287,569 this year. Has $170,744 in the bank and $152,000 in outstand debts.

It has spent $101,267 supporting D1 candidate David Lee, $26,405 support of David Chiu in D3, $2,739 each supporting FX Crowley and Michael Garcia in D7, $12,837 opposing Norman Yee in D7, $29,357 backing London Breed in D5, and $20,615 promoting Prop. C (the Housing Trust Fund).

The San Francisco Labor Council Labor & Neighbor PAC has raised $84,563 for its various member unions and spent $93,539 this year on general get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Labor Council also supports three Teachers, Nurses and Neighbors groups supporting Eric Mar in D1 (raising $125,000 and spending $85,437), FX Crowley in D7 (raising $50,000 and spending $40,581), and Christina Olague in D5 (raising $15,000 and spending $15,231)

 

Supervisorial Races:

District 1

Eric Mar

Raised $18,270 this period, $135,923 this year, and got no public finances this period.

He has spend $61,499 this period, $187,409 this year, and has $24,180 in the bank with no debt.

Donors include: Sup. David Chiu ($250), board aides Judson True ($100) and Jeremy Pollock ($100), redevelopment attorney James Morales ($200), developer Jack Hu ($500), engineer Arash Guity ($500), community organizer James Tracy ($200), Lisa Feldstein ($250), Marc Salomon ($125), Petra DeJesus ($300), and Gabriel Haaland ($200).

David Lee

Raised $4,174 this period, $140,305 this year, and no public financing matches this period.

He has spent $245,647 this year and $55,838 this period. He has $5,871 in debts and $26,892 in the bank.

Donors include the building trades union ($500), property manager Andrew Hugh Smith ($500), Wells Fargo manager Alfred Pedrozo ($200), and SPO Advisory Corp. partner William Oberndorf ($500).

District 5

John Rizzo

Raised $5,304 this period (10/1-10/20), $29,860 this year, and $14,248 in public financing

He has $19,813 in the bank

Donors are mostly progressive and environmental activists: attorney Paul Melbostad $500), Hene Kelly ($100), Bernie Choden ($100), Dennis Antenore ($500), Clean Water Action's Jennifer Clary ($150), Matt Dorsey ($150), Arthur Feinstein ($350), Jane Morrison ($200), and Aaron Peskin ($150).

 

Julian Davis

Raised $8,383 this period, $38,953 YTD, and got $16,860 in public financing in this period (and $29,510 in the 7/1-9/30 period).

He has $67,530 in YTD expenses, $18,293 in the bank, and $500 in debts.

Some donors: Aaron Peskin ($500), John Dunbar ($500), Heather Box ($100), Jim Siegel ($250), Jeremy Pollock ($200), BayView publisher Willie Ratcliff ($174), and Burning Man board member Marian Goodell ($400). Peskin and Dunbar both say they made those donations early in the campaign, before Davis was accused of groping a woman and lost most of his progressive endorsements.

 

London Breed

Raised $15,959 this period, $128,009 YTD, got $95,664 in public financing this period.

Total YTD expenditures of $150,596 and has $93,093 in the bank

Donors include: Susie Buell ($500), CCSF Board member Natalie Berg ($250), Miguel Bustos ($500), PG&E spokesperson and DCCC Chair Mary Jung ($250), SF Chamber of Commerce Vice President Jim Lazarus ($100), Realtor Matthew Lombard ($500), real estate investor Susan Lowenberg ($500), Municipal Executives Association of SF ($500), Carmen Policy ($500), SF Apartment Association ($500), SF's building trades PAC ($500), and Sam Singer ($500).

 

Christina Olague

Raised $7,339 this period, $123,474 YTD, and got $39,770 in public financing this period.

Has spent $54,558 this period, $199,419 this year, has $13,367 in the bank, and has $69,312 in outstanding debt.

Donors include: former Mayor Art Agnos ($500), California Nurses Association PAC ($500), a NUHW political committee ($500), the operating engineers ($500) and electrical workers ($500) union locals, Tenants Together attorney Dean Preston ($100), The Green Cross owner Kevin Reed ($500), SEIU-UHW PAC ($500), Alex Tourk ($500), United Educators of SF ($500), and United Taxicab Workers ($200).

Some expenses include controversial political consultant Enrique Pearce's Left Coast Communications ($15,000), which documents show is still owed another $62,899 for literature, consulting, and postage.

 

Thea Selby

Raised $5,645 this period, $45,651 YTD, and got $6,540 in public financing this period.

Spent $29,402 this period, $67,300 this year, and has $33,519 in the bank.

Donors include:

David Chiu board aide Judson True ($100), One Kings Lane VP Jim Liefer ($500), SF Chamber's Jim Lazarus ($100), Harrington's Bar owner Michael Harrington ($200), and Arthur Swanson of Lightner Property Group ($400).

 

District 7

 

Norman Yee

Raised $8,270 this period and $85,460 this year and received $65,000 in public financing.

Spent $15,651 this period, $130,005 this year, and has $63,410 in the bank and no debt.

Donors include: Realtor John Whitehurst ($500), Bank of America manager Patti Law ($500), KJ Woods Construction VP Marie Woods ($500), and Iron Work Contractors owner Florence Kong ($500).

 

FX Crowley

Raised $5,350 this period, $163,108 this year, and another $25,155 through public financing.

He spent $76,528 this period, $218,441 this year, and has $84,443 in the bank and $7,291 in unpaid debt.

Donors include: Alliance for Jobs & Sustainable Growth attorney Vince Courtney ($250), Thomas Creedon ($300) and Mariann Costello ($250) of Scoma's Restaurant, stagehands Richard Blakely ($100) and Thomas Cleary ($150), Municipal Executives Association of SF ($500), IBEW Local 1245 ($500), and SF Medical Society PAC ($350)

 

Michael Garcia

Raised $8,429 this period, $121,123 this year, and $18,140 through public financing.

He spent $45,484 this period, $222,580 this year, and has $33,936 in the bank.

Donors include: Coalition for Responsible Growth flak Zohreh Eftekhari ($500), contractor Brendan Fox ($500), consultant Sam Lauter of BMWL ($500), Stephanie Lauter ($500), consultant Sam Riordan ($500), and William Oberndorf ($500)

 

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